Industry's air travel plans yet to be hit by rising costs

The predicted rise in air fare rates in 2015 means some events are being held closer to home, but hasn't yet made a big impact on travel plans, according to industry experts.

Industry's air travel plans yet to be hit by rising costs
Industry's air travel plans yet to be hit by rising costs

The recent American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2015 predicted that airline capacity in the UK would remain constrained as airlines manage inventory as closely as possible, which will continue to drive up prices, particularly for long-haul rates. 

Ian Cummings, managing director at CWT Meetings & Events UK & IE, said: "For larger events we are seeing a "closer to home" directive from clients. This is cheaper, greener, and due to shorter travel time, agendas can start earlier and include more."

However, many buyers said they have not yet seen a notable price rise or had to alter budgets to account for rising flight costs. But if the trend continues, it could affect travel plans for the back end of 2015 into 2016.

Managing director of Vivid Event Group Charlie Hepburn said: "There hasn’t been a big enough shift in prices yet. The hike in airfares and accommodation might have a knock on effect, but we haven’t reached that tipping point. We’ll review things next year, because of the timeframes events work through." 

Director of corporate events at FICO Joy Thomas agreed that rising prices might have an effect further down the line.

"I think we’ll take rising prices into account next year," said Thomas. "From what we learn by doing the events this year, we’ll amend the budgets to fit for the following year."

The impact of falling global oil prices on air fares has yet to be realized, and could potentially lead to prices not rising as much as expected.

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